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Catawba faculty and students attend Psychological Association conference

SALISBURY — Three Catawba College faculty and seven students will travel to the annual Southeastern Psychological Association conference in New Orleans, La., March 30-April 2. Some in the Catawba group will make research presentations at the conference.

Attendees include psychology professors Drs. Lyn Boulter, Erin Wood, and Sheila Brownlow, and students Jennifer Beach, Kathleen Burris, Faith Carleton, Melissa Greene, Abigail Moore, Evan Schultz and Grace Tworek.

Beach, Greene and Brownlow will present research that focuses on how language use, specifically self-referent focus, is a function of age, sex and social status and is revealed in public speech. Their research includes analysis of over 4,000 tweets of famous persons and is titled “Do Twitter posts of public figures reveal private selves?”

Moore, Schultz and Brownlow will present “Do expansive gestures mitigate the effects of ego depletion?” which reports their research focusing on the manner in which physical space for expansive gesturing (aka “power posing”) and other cues to power and dominance contribute to implicit measures of self-enhancement strategies.

Wood will be presenting research on which she has collaborated with Dr. Kristina Hood from Mississippi State University on the nexus of self-efficacy, demographic characteristics and technology use. Eight areas of health behaviors including exercise, nutrition, rest and relaxation, sexual health, alcohol, and prescription, illicit and legal drugs, are viewed through the lens of the two groups of sampled students — one from a small, private college versus another from a large, state university. Characteristics of smartphone applications focused on health and wellness are also investigated to elucidate possible technological therapeutic utilities for specific groups of people.

Boulter and Wood will present in a session titled “Using class activities in undergraduate psychology courses to engage students.” This session is a panel on novel pedagogical tools and activities used to teach in the discipline of psychology.

Additionally, Boulter and Brownlow will each chair a conference session.

Finally, Brownlow is an invited panelist in a session by the Association of Department Heads in Psychology. That panel is called “Department head (or interested in becoming one)? Come talk to other department heads about how to prepare for the apocalypse!”

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